It’s a wrap at TechSparks 2023: Day 3 ends with conversations that matter

With the who’s who of the startup ecosystem coming together to trigger important conversations, TechSparks 2023 – Bengaluru edition comes to an end. Here are some of the important highlights from day 3.

It’s a wrap at TechSparks 2023: Day 3 ends with conversations that matter

Saturday September 23, 2023,

5 min Read

After three days packed with intelligent conversations, learnings from seasoned entrepreneurs, and workshops from important startup ecosystem stakeholders—TechSparks 2023—the 14th edition of YourStory's flagship startup-tech event ends.

While TechSparks 2023 might officially end today, the impact of the last three days will bring the change and the ‘spark’ that YourStory promised to ignite on day one. 

Day 3 started with YourStory’s mission statement—to provide a platform to new-age, early-stage entrepreneurs. Today, the last leg of the Tech30 pitch fest was also hosted—showcasing the innovative ideas of startups across sectors—spotlighting the next generation of changemakers and innovators. 

Next, taking centre stage was Priyank M Kharge, Minister of IT, BT, and Rural Development and Panchayat Raj, Government of Karnataka, who said, “The spirit of entrepreneurship that we speak about in Karnataka, has not happened overnight…it has been burning for the last 500 years.”  

He further added: “The next semiconductor revolution will be in Karnataka … Not in Bengaluru, but in Mysuru or Belagavi.” 

Priyank M Kharge also emphasised that going forward, the Government of Karnataka will be focusing on four aspects to encourage the growth and development of startups in the state–skills, centres of excellence, a global innovation alliance for market access, expansion of startups and corporates in Karnataka beyond Bengaluru, ease of doing business, and a preferential public procurement policy

One cannot talk about Bengaluru’s latest innovations and not mention the changemakers in the mobility space—Namma Yatri. The Juspay-built open mobility app has completed over 86 lakh trips, helping its partner drivers earn over Rs 128 crore—all while collecting zero commission.

Redefining the rules of the ride-hailing business, Vimal Kumar, Founder of Juspay, said, “We want to build mobility like a large-scale utility service.” 

Following this, Alok Soni, Founding Team and Head of Business at Monet Work, decoded the startup hiring landscape in India. He revealed that premier educational institutes are no longer in demand, adding, “Instead, companies want employees who have already experienced the hustle and bustle of working in the startup ecosystem.” 

Seasoned investor Gopal Srinivasan, Chairman of TVS Capital Funds Ltd., discussed the much-talked-about funding winter in India, saying, “India is going to be far ahead of what people are predicting based on a single number called GDP; I am not worried about the funding winter.” 

The second half of the third day of TechSparks 2023 was rather packed with fireside chats with Vamsi Gaddam, Joint MD (Visaka) and Founder of Atum and Automobile, who discussed the country’s first high-speed cafe racer electric bike; followed by Meghna Agarwal and Ridhi Das, Co-founders of Indiqube, who deep dived into what takes to be a homegrown co-working space competing with global giants. 

“In India, you cannot be focused only on five-star buildings. There’s a huge unorganised market where we picked up buildings—some of these 40-years-old. It is very important to work with what already exists,” said Das. 

In yet another panel discussion, popular content creator Manish Pandey moderated a session, where AI content creator Varun Mayya and Viraj Sheth, Co-founder and CEO of Monk Entertainment, shared interesting insights on how content will be affected by the advent of AI. 

In a parallel track, experts and stakeholders from the Web3 community discussed burning topics, including decrypting the future of Web3, real-world uses for blockchain, and storytelling and community-building strategies in Web3. 

However, the most awaited session was that of Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Union Minister of State for Electronics and IT, and Union Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship. Setting the agenda for ‘The Great Indian Techade’, Chandrasekhar said it is time when the world recognises what India is capable of. “Not just recognising but also consuming products from India.”  

The minister also announced that the government is working to launch the Digital India Fund in 2024—a domestic pool of capital similar to the national infrastructure fund—for those who create jobs. 

Next, Sameer Nigam, Founder and CEO of fintech major PhonePe, joined Chandrasekhar and Shradha Sharma, Founder and CEO of YourStory, to launch PhonePe’s app store—Indus Appstore. About 41 apps—including Dream11, ShareChat, CoinDCX, and Mamaearth—have already signed up with the Android app store.

“The annual fee for developers on the Indus OS app store will not be exploitative…I would rather go after the 97% Android market than the remaining iPhone market,” Nigam explained. 

In a candid chat, Alakh Sir, aka Alakh Pandey, Founder and CEO of Physics Wallah, discussed what’s in store for edtech after the present patch of turbulence. Continuing the conversation around AI, Pandey said, “No one has really used AI at scale in edtech. It will be great if we can do that…We have the scale. We won’t have to train AI on OpenAi—we will train it on PhysicsWallah’s own datasets…”

India’s largest startup-tech event, TechSparks 2023, ended with a bang with superstar entrepreneur Nithin Kamath, Founder and CEO of Zerodha and Rainmatter Fund, who spilled the beans about the passion that drives product and business building. In fact, Kamath got candid about his journey so far. 

“Building a business takes a lot of time. You can use artificial means to grow a tree but a forest takes time—it takes persistence…You can build a good valuation quickly, but a value-driven business is a different game and needs a lot of hard work,” Kamath said, concluding the 14th edition of YourStory's flagship event TechSparks. 

For our full coverage on TechSparks 2023 – Bengaluru edition, click here

Finally, a huge shout-out to our gifting partners: The Good Glamm Group, Beco, Deconstruct, Beverich, Tagz, and Nestle. We thank them for helping make TechSparks Bengaluru 2023 all the more memorable for the attendees.

Edited by Suman Singh